Off the Shelf Kicks Off!

Off the Shelf, Sheffield’s very own literary festival, begins its celebration of the written word today. Over its 24 years Off the Shelf has hosted many literary icons including, Benjamin Zephaniah, Carol Ann Duffy, and Stephen Fry. This year the line-up is as strong as ever with political journalist Owen Jones, TV chefs the Hairy Bikers and Mary Portas all set to feature. With over 200 events taking place across the city, covering a diverse range of topics, there is sure to be something to appeal to everyone.


Prominent left-wing writer and broadcaster Owen Jones is Off the Shelf’s guest artistic curator this year

Here are some highlights of the early festival line up; from 24th September to 9th October.

Kicking things off at the Crucible Theatre is highly regarded playwright Sir David Hare. When, in 2000, the National Theatre published its poll of the hundred best plays of the 20th century, David Hare had written five of them. Some of his most notable works include ‘Plenty’, ‘Skylight’ and ‘The Judas Kiss’. His Off the Shelf talk focuses on his new memoir that follows his life and the history it was set against.

On Saturday 26th, author journalist and music enthusiast Brian Case is set to give a sneak peek into the heady world of jazz, film and crime fiction. Having written for NME, Time Out and Uncut Case has long been associated with some of the greatest in music and film. His latest book ‘The Snap’ details some of his most memorable encounters with film and music stars as varied as Chet Baker, Jack Nicholson and Tom Waits.


Ian McMilan, The Bard of Barnsley

Sheffield City Hall has invited the Bard of Barnsley, Ian Malcom, along for a show on October 1st. ‘Neither Nowt Nor Summat’ describes his voyage of discovery through the towns and cities of Yorkshire and is packed full of humorous anecdotes starring a motley crew of characters including Mad Geoff the Barber and a kazoo playing train guard.

Man Booker Prize shortlisted author, Karen Joy Fowler, pays a visit to the Octagon to discuss her new book ‘We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves’. The event also includes a Q & A, book signing and a short story writing competition open to 11-18 year olds.

Our last pick has more of a local flavour as Sheffield based author Gavin Extence talks about his bestselling novel ‘The Universe versus Alex Woods’ and his new book ‘The Mirror World of Melody Black’. This will be followed by an open mic poetry session with local poets and writers sharing their work on the theme of mental health and wellbeing. The event takes place on October 8th and is promoted in conjunction with Sheffield Mental Health Week.

Head to offtheshelf.org.uk for more event information and tickets

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